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Fact Sheet: August 29, 1997
Overall Specifications | Spacecraft System | Telescope System | Science Instruments | Science Instrument Module

Chandra Technical Specifications

Overall Specifications
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Size 45.3 feet long x 64.0 feet wingspan (fully deployed)
Weight 10,160 pounds
Orbital Data Inclination: 28.5 degrees
Perigee altitude: 10,000 kilometers
ApogeApogee altitude: 140,000 kilometers
Ascending node: 200 degrees
Argument of perigee: 270 degrees
On-orbit life > 5 years


Spacecraft System
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Electrical Power Two 3-panel, silicon solar arrays provide 2350 watts of power (End of Life)
Three 40 ampere-hour nickel hydrogen batteries supply power in eclipse
Antennas Two low-gain, conical log sprial antennas provide spherical coverage
Frequencies Transmit 2250 megahertz (MHz)
Receive 2071.8 MHz
Command Link 2 kilobits persecond (kbps)
Data Recording Solid-state recorder; 1.8 gigabits (16.8 hours) of recording capacity
Downlink Options Selectable rates from 32 to 1024 kbps
Downlink data includes pre-recorded engineering and science instrument data interleaved with real-time data
Downlink Operations Data downloaded to Earth typically every 8 hours
Contingency Mode 32kbps
Safing Autonomous operation
No ground intervention required to safe against any single fault


Telescope System
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High Resolution
Mirror Assembly
4 sets of nested, grazing incidence parabaloid/hyperboloid mirror pairs
Mirrors are each 83.3 cm long, constructed of zerodur material, polished to better than 7 angstroms root-mean-square (RMS) micro rougness, covered with 600 angstrom iridium coating
Set of mirrors weighs 2104 pounds
Focal Length: 10 meters
Outer diameter: 1.2 meters
Field of view: 1.0 degree diameter
Unobscured clear aperture > 1136 sq. cm
Altitude Control 6 reaction wheel control

2 inertial reference units, each with two (2) two-degrees of freedom dry-tuned gyros updated autonomously with aspect camera data
Aspect Camera 1.40o x 1.40o field of view
Pointing Stability 0.25 arcsec (RMS) radius over 95% of all 10 second periods
Pointing Accuracy 30 arcsec 99% of viewing time


Science Instruments
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Advanced Charged Coupled Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) Provides simultaneous time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy
Uses two CCD arrays, one for imaging, one for spectroscopy
Imaging resolution is 0.5 arcsec over spectral range of 0.2 to 10 keV
High Resolution Camera (HRC) Uses large field-of-view imaging micro-channel plates to detect X-ray photons
Provides highest spatial resolution of any instruments on Chandra satellite
Angular resolution <0.5 arcsec over the field of view 31 x 31 arcmin over the spectral range of 0.1 to 10 keV
High Energy Transmission Grating Designed to be inserted into focused X-ray beam
Contains 336 diffraction gratings
Provides spectral resolution (E/error-file:tidyout.logE) of 60-1000 over the energy range 0.4 to 10 keV
Low Energy Transmission Grating Designed to be inserted into focused X-ray beam
Provides spectral resolution (E/error-file:tidyout.logE) of 40-2000 over the energy range 0.09 to 3 keV



Science Instrument Module
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  • Structural support for Advanced Charged Coupled Imaging Spectrometer and High Resolution Camera (HRC)
  • Thermal Environment for ACIS and HRC
  • Positions either ACIS or HRC into focal plane
  • Provides focus adust for ACIS and HRC


Information provided by NGST, the prime contractor for Chandra


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